Mesfin DAMTEW

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels | Belgium

Wetland vegetation of shallow lakes is of high ecological and socioeconomic importance. They are described both as “kidneys of the landscape”, because of their role in the hydrological and chemical cycles, and “biological supermarkets” due to the rich biodiversity they support. Consequently, they are important sites for biological conservation. However, aquatic conservation and management rely on the information emanating from studies on the interaction among the different components of these ecosystems. Therefore, investigating the trophic interaction among the wetland vegetation and planktonic communities is a basis for the conservation of aquatic systems and best use of ecosystem services. In these aspects, community structure analysis coupled with stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes can help studying food web interaction and detect energy pathways across the trophic levels with a potential implication to the protection and management of fresh water systems and its biota.